Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Excellent, Stock Fan is Fine, Good Power & Heat, Love the HD Graphics 3000
on March 31, 2012
I could not be happier with this CPU. I really wanted HD Graphics 3000 that is built into the chip, which (1) has built in optimizations for HD video playback and conversions, (2) can offer a lower power usage than some power hungry graphics cards (less power, less cost, less heat, less noise from less heat to exhaust, and more reliability from lower heat), (3) is better than many entry level discrete graphics cards. Of course it doesn't really compare to the current generation of expensive high end graphics cards that cost almost as much as this chip, but it gives others a run for their money. I really wanted to make sure that viewing, editing, and converting video from my HD video camera was as optimized as possible, which is what HD Graphics 3000 can uniquely offer by being optimized right on the CPU. In terms of power, my system idles at about 50W.
The stock fan provided with the retail version is all that you need if you are not overclocking and have a case with decent airflow, like the Cooler Master Storm Enforcer. The desktop tools monitor (from my Intel DZ68BC motherboard) always shows that I am running at the low end of heat ranges for the CPU and temperature in my case. Heat hasn't remotely been a problem. I don't think the fan is whisper quiet though. However, there 2 important things to mention. (1) The power cable comes wrapped around the fan in what looks like cable management that you don't have to unwrap all the way. But the problem is the cable actually comes into contact with the fan blades at a few places that you might not notice at first. This would make noise, cause cooling problems, or burn up the chip if you don't unwrap it. I thought at first I could just uncoil a tiny bit to plug to the connector right next to it, but I am really glad I caught that. The instructions made no mention. (2) It didn't snap easily into place like the instructions say. I had to use a screwdriver to turn the nuts in the end on a few posts, but overall was easy, but I had to use a screwdriver despite instructions that said otherwise.
The 2700K versus this 2600K offers only 100MHz more, that's all, and is only a fractional improvement. So you just need to calculate the cost difference between the 2700K and 2600K and see if that is worth a measly 100MHz or not. If only a very small cost difference, I would definitely go with the 2700K. If a moderate or large difference, I wouldn't pay too much for only 100MHz. When I bought my i7-2600K, I would have had to pay 22% more to get far less of a gain in processing power. I have zero regrets with going with the i7-2600K and not waiting around for the 2700K to be a perfect value.